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Ten Tips To Enjoying Restaurants & Eating Right

Dining out can be a healthy experience…’s how!

1. Don’t be passive. If you don’t want bread to be served or dressing to be placed on your salad, say so. It's far easier to not eat something if it's not present. Trying to avoid the item once it's on the table is harder to do.

2. If you regularly eat at a chain restaurant, check the menu and the calorie content so you can make informed decisions. This information is available at

3. Ask for items not on the menu. If broccoli (or another one of your favorite vegetables) is one of the dishes but not offered as a side, ask for it. Have all vegetables without dressings. Ask for a vegetable to be substituted for rice or pasta.

4. The best bet for lower calorie dishes is to avoid cream sauces, red meat dishes, fried foods, dishes with cheese, or dishes made with nuts.

5. If the restaurant traditionally serves large portions, consider sharing your meal with your dinner date. Both people can order a salad or appetizer and share an entrée.

6. If your date doesn't want to share, consider ordering a well chosen appetizer as your entrée.

7. Fish (not fried or in sauce) is generally the best low-calorie choice on the menu. Remember, a good meal has 2-3 vegetables and a protein.

8. Watch how others order. If a friend or family member has a normal body weight and generally eats healthy, let them order first and you copy. Pick someone to be a role model and imitate their skills.

9. Restaurants are generally chilly. This is done intentionally because we tend to eat more when we're cold. Bring a sweater and order carefully.

10. Don’t skip a meal in preparation for going out to dinner. Visiting a restaurant when you're starving is asking for trouble. It's difficult to make wise food decisions when you're hungry.

This is the first step in improving your health and lifestyle.

At Tidewater Bariatrics, my staff and I are committed to helping you achieve your weight loss goals.

I am a board certified Bariatrician and Internal Medicine physician. I will tailor a program specific to your needs, time constraints and abilities.

Our program is modeled after successful academic university medical center programs, and is dedicated to decreasing your health risk, improving nutrition, providing health education, and increasing your overall wellness. You can expect to lose weight, improve your cardio-vascular health, and reduce your risk of developing long-term obesity complications.

Even if you already have the complications of obesity, weight loss can decrease or eliminate their effects.

Dr. Margaret Gaglione

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